S8E11: Last week’s Grey’s Anatomy sent us spiraling into a vat of hardcore depression as we watched Teddy find out that Henry died in surgery. And although I admit it was very painful to watch, a big part of me was relieved to see the series step up the emotional aspect of the show again – something it’s been lacking for some time now. While tonight’s episode didn’t have us reaching for the tissues quite as many times as the last one, it still packed a pretty significant punch to the heart with the aftermath of Henry’s death. Now that the shock of the news has worn off, Teddy begins to question Cristina about what exactly happened to Henry during his surgery, making it seem that she’s no longer as confident in Cristina’s abilities. But by the end of the episode, we discover just what her motives were behind the incessant questions. On second thought, maybe those tissues weren’t such a bad idea.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Grace doctors split into teams for a risky surgery involving conjoined twins, but of course things don’t go as smoothly as one would hope. Plus, Arizona’s controlling antics are driving everyone crazy. Have the doctor’s stretched themselves too far? Perhaps their eyes are too big for their stomachs on this one.
“There is a time when they used to call the operating room an operating theater.” – Meredith
Now that we’re on the downward slope of our emotional roller-coaster, the doctors of Seattle Grace are back to attempting “once in a lifetime” surgeries that are highly risky and almost impossible to accomplish successfully. After weeks and weeks of preparing, the staff are finally ready to perform a highly complex surgery which involves separating conjoined twins. Unsurprisingly, the pressure of it all causes nerves to run extremely high among the fellow surgeons, especially in regards to Arizona, who becomes increasingly overbearing throughout the course of the episode. But that’s to be expected since this is ground-breaking stuff and everyone wants to be involved. Dr. Webber even manages to trick Karev into giving up his spot in the surgery TWICE. He said it was to teach him to a lesson about never missing opportunities like that, but still that’s kind of harsh. Low blow Richard.
As you would guess (since it always seems to end this way), the surgery was a success. After a minor hiccup involving kidney failure (sorry that’s as technical as I get, I’m not a doctor), the babies come out of the surgery not only unharmed, but completely separated. And then there were two…
“You were me in that OR. You were good and you did it right.” – Teddy
But Cristina didn’t get to take part in this miraculous surgery. Why? Because for the past two weeks Teddy has called her into the OR during surgery to make her recount exactly what she did during the entire length of Henry’s operation. Step by step, point by point, Cristina is forced to replay the scenario out loud to Teddy again and again and again. At first I thought Teddy must be going through the anger portion on the well-known Five Stages of Grief since it seemed like she was just trying to find a way to blame Cristina for what happened to her husband. It came off as cruel and unfair, even considering all that she’s been through. But by the end of the episode we discover that the only reason she wanted to hear the story over and over again was so that she could play it out in her head and feel like she was actually there during the surgery. By doing that she was able to confirm that Cristina did everything exactly as she would have if she herself had performed the surgery and could make piece with the fact that his death wasn’t caused by an error. She accepts that sometimes bad things just happen. This sense of closure also allows her to assure Cristina that she is not to blame herself for Henry’s death and Teddy tells her she did everything she could have done to help him. I was happy to see her not play the blame game since that wouldn’t be fair, but it was still a pretty hard scene to watch. Kudos to Kim Raver for pulling off such a convincing portrayal of heartbreak.
“Is it a crime that I like to focus when I’m in the workplace?” – Bailey
In a side story that barely seems worth mentioning, Ben wants Bailey to move in with him now that they’re back together, even though they’ve only been dating for two weeks. So being the mature woman that she is, she does the most logical thing: she uses Meredith as a buffer during surgery so she won’t have to talk to Ben about living together. That’s basically it, other than that Bailey is so preoccupied with focusing on her surgery and not Ben, that she actually forgets to really focus on her surgery and misplaces a sponge. It’s not really that monumental to the plot, the storyline just seemed a little unnecessary, not to mention freaky, since Meredith is the only sane person in the room. You know, seeing this stuff really makes me pose some serious doubts as to what really goes on in a real-life OR.
As a whole, the episode was mediocre, especially considering all that’s happened in the past few episodes. But I’m willing to cut the show some slack and say they just needed a chance to regroup from all the recent emotional turmoil. Teddy’s little breakdown to Cristina is the only thing that really affected me this time. Shonda Rimes just needs to stop focusing on all these incredible surgeries and start focusing on the relationships that develop as a result of the surgery. Hospital jargon isn’t exactly riveting and the constant recurring theme of miraculous surgeries is getting a bit overdone, so I’d rather spend more time on the doctor-patient connections. Over the years we’ve grown to love these doctors — it’s their job to keep reminding us why that’s so.
So what did you think of the overall tone of the episode? Were you surprised to see how Teddy’s dealing with Henry’s death? Do you think her relationship with Cristina will survive through this? Get at me in the comments section below!